Amazon and GoPro have filed a joint lawsuit against a group of Chinese nationals and businesses they allege sold counterfeit GroPro products on Amazon. In newly unsealed court documents, the two companies say the fraudsters made knockoffs of some of GoPro's most popular accessories that blatantly used its branding to try and trick potential buyers.
Among the products the counterfeiters saw to pass off as authentic include GoPro's signature "3-Way" and "The Handler" grips. The knockoffs were often hard to spot, with subtle differences between them and their real GoPro counterparts. For instance, some had foam handles that were a slightly different color from the one you'll find on tripods from the company.
"When counterfeiters attempt to sell in our store, they not only violate the intellectual property rights of companies like GoPro, they also mislead consumers and harm Amazon's reputation as a place to buy authentic goods," said Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon's recently formed Counterfeit Crimes Unit.
Amazon and GoPro aren't the first companies to take legal action against fraudsters using the platform to sell counterfeit goods. Back in 2016, Apple alleged that about 90 percent of the Lightning cables and chargers marked "Fulfilled by Amazon" were fake.
However, Amazon contends the problem isn't widespread. In 2020, the company says less than 0.01 percent of all products sold on its marketplace were the subject of a counterfeit complaint from customers. As The Verge points out, what we don't know is how many items the company sold last year.
At the scale Amazon does business, 0.01 percent could represent tens of thousands of complaints. It's also not clear how many people bought a counterfeit product, and either didn't think to contact the company about their purchase or were none the wiser about what they had in their possession. Either way, the issue of fake GoPro products was pressing enough for Amazon to team up with the company to take it on.